- On 1st June 2019
- In Ecology, Sediment Management, Water Management
- By Luke
Plastic pollution has reached global epidemic proportions; however, consumerism and convenience still demand single-use plastic products. It is a global challenge that has recently become more visible to consumers through television programmes like Blue Planet and terrifying discoveries by Vescovo’s Five Deeps Expedition who found plastic even in the most remote part of the ocean, Mariana Trench at a depth of 10,928 metres.
Although a step in the right direction, the governmental ban on single-use plastic items, such as straws, drinks stirrers and plastic stemmed cotton buds in England in 2020, seems to be rather inadequate, considering the magnitude of the problem. The UK government should act faster to cut the 4,000 billion unnecessary single-use plastic items consumed annually. Furthermore, the recycling of plastic waste and the recyclability of plastic items should be managed by the government in order to work towards a circular economy.
Due to the nature of the surveying activities undertaken by Exo Environmental in rivers, lakes, estuaries and harbours, we come across huge amounts of plastic items, such as bags, wrappings, cups, bottles and wet wipes (albeit not necessary plastic based). These obvious culprits are the visual plastics.
Micro plastics in sediment and water are an insurmountable problem that is relatively invisible, however it is greatly detrimental to our ecosystems and food chains. Recent studies into the emerging field of the impact and transport of micro plastics were presented during the SEDNET Conference in Dubrovnik, Croatia, visit SedNet to find out more.
Exo Environmental is co-developing sampling methods to study micro-plastics in sediment and water that is aimed at the understanding of the impact and possible measures to manage this global problem. We aim to offer our clients a sampling and testing method to determine the level of microplastics in their sediments and consult on how to tackle the problem. Contact us to find out how we can help you lower the plastic pollution on your land.
| Header photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program